WHO adds Indian vaccine to emergency use list

The World Health Organization says it has approved for emergency use a coronavirus vaccine developed in India.

The WHO announced on Wednesday that it has added Covaxin by Indian firm Bharat Biotech to its emergency use listing after confirming the vaccine's efficacy and safety.

The organization recommends the use of the vaccine in two doses. It says that 14 or more days after the second shot, the vaccine was found to have 78 percent efficacy in preventing severe COVID-19.

WHO officials say the India-made vaccine is suitable for use in developing countries as it can be stored in normal refrigerators.

The addition to the WHO emergency use list means the vaccine can be provided to developing nations through the UN-backed COVAX program for fair vaccine distribution.

The COVAX Facility was expected to distribute 2 billion vaccine doses within this year. But only 435 million doses have been provided so far as infections spiked around the world and developed countries have been slow in providing funding and doses.

The WHO has so far granted emergency use approval to the vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and two Chinese pharmaceutical companies.